October 5, 2021

Good Mornings: How to Perform This Advanced Exercise Move

Although there are many types of workout moves, none are more effective than the “Good Morning” routine. You can still do Good Morning, with some advanced exercises despite the title’s implied meaning. We spoke to trainers Kelly Collins, Katie Kollath, to find out more about the benefits and how it works. Continue reading to find out what they had to share.


  • Kelly Collins is an XPRO Instructor at STRIDE GO.
  • Katie Kollath, ACE Certified Personal Training Instructor, is the Co-Founder of Barpath Fitness.

What is a Good Morning?

Weighted squats are the Good Morning advanced exercises. A Good Morning exercise uses a barbell that is placed behind your shoulders, rather than dumbbell-held squats. The name Good Morning is thought to be a result of two things. First, it is similar to bowing to someone to say “Good morning.” The name comes from the way the move looks when you get out of bed in morning.

The Good Morning Move involves a barbell and is considered an advanced exercise, even though it doesn’t weigh more than forty-five pounds. Proper form is crucial to avoid injury because there are many muscles involved. Kollath says that you need to have sufficient strength and mobility to perform this movement with the barbell.

What are the Benefits of Advanced Exercises?

This move is all about stabilizing your back. This move will also work your glutes and hamstrings. There are many other workout moves that target these areas. The Good Morning not only works those muscles but also helps build stability and strength in your lower and upper backs. This move can help you move beyond plateaus in your training and improve your strength. This move is similar to deadlifts or squats, but it works more muscle groups in your back. The entire posterior chain is engaged, which is all the muscle needed to maintain a healthy back.

How Do You Perform a Good Morning with some Advanced Exercises?

  1. Standing with your feet hip width apart, stand tall. Kollath suggests that you place a barbell on the upper back of your body, “just like you would for a back-squat.” Kollath also suggests that you “think about arching your lower back or sticking up and back during the movement.” This will ensure that your back stays flat at the end of the good morning, which will allow you to stretch and strengthen the glutes and hamstrings.
  2. With your knees bent slightly, lean forward from your hips. Collins then tells us to keep pushing your hips back and lowering your torso so that your spine is parallel to the ground. Keep your shoulders together and maintain an arch in your lower back.
  4. Your core should be engaged as you lift your torso back to the starting position. Kollath emphasizes that the spin should be extended. Kollath suggests that you drive your hips forward, and then squeeze your glutes as hard as possible when you stand back up.

Tips to Prevent Injury

It’s crucial to remember injury prevention tips because of the strain on your back. These are the best.

  • Collins suggests that you keep your lower back straight and keep your knees bent. Instead of dropping your chest forward, focus on pushing your hips back.
  • It is important to watch how your spine moves when you bend forward. Kollath advises that we “avoid spinalflexion, especially in the end range of movement.” This is because “spinalflexion with the barbell on your back can be too early for most people and could lead to back strains or pain in general, if done consistently.”
  • Although it may seem simple, you should have some experience with using a barbell before you attempt this move. You should follow all the guidelines for this piece, including not pushing the limits, using added weights slowly, and using proper grip.

Collins also notes that heavy weight training should not be done by women who are pregnant or in recovery from childbirth, people who have been injured or are still recovering from injuries to their spine, back, knees, or feet, and those who have had recent surgery or are not cleared by their doctor. You should consult a certified personal trainer or licensed physical therapist if you feel pain while doing this exercise. They can evaluate your body and make any necessary adjustments.

What Are Some Modifications You Can Try?

This is a complex move that can be modified to make it more accessible for beginners and intermediate exercisers.

  1. You can have a Good Morning even if you don’t weigh. Kollath recommends that you place your hands behind the head in order to maintain a proper form. Kollath also suggests a one-legged version with bodyweight. This will be harder than standing on two legs, but easier than using a barbell.
  2. You can also do a seated version. Sitting down for Good Morning can help you not place too much pressure on your back.
  3. Collins suggests that you use a resistance band for those less experienced than a barbell. The resistance band will be placed under your feet and you will use your hands to lift it up as you stand.
  5. You will need to hold a dumbbell in your hands. Kollath says that you can grab a dumbbell, hold it across your chest and do the same move by following this guide.

The Takeaway

The Good Morning exercise, which is an advanced form of squat, gets its name from the similar movement to a bed stretch and bow. Although it is a form squat, it requires your back muscles to perform the task better than most squats. Because of the movement involved and the use of a barbell at your upper back, this is why. Proper form is crucial to avoid injury because of the amount of back work involved. You can use bodyweight, dumbbells or resistance bands to help you reach a Good Morning. Or, sit down instead of standing. These tips can make a “good morning” seem stronger and more meaningful.